KANGAROO Flat will look to deny its former two-time premiership coach Jannelle Hobbs a much sought-after win at Dower Park on Saturday.
Hobbs, who steered the Roos to premierships in 2014 and 2016, has not enjoyed a win against her former team since joining South Bendigo at the end of the 2017 season.
A win this weekend would give the Bloods a tremendous boost in their bid to secure the double chance.
But that will be easier said than done against a Roos line-up bristling with talent and in rampaging form after a 51-goal victory over Strathfieldsaye.
It was a win coach Jayden Cowling hailed as one of his team's best this season and one which ensured the Roos would head into an intriguing clash against South Bendigo well-placed at 7-1.
He is keen to see his team carry that momentum into Saturday.
"Every time we come up against South we know it's going to be a tough game; Jannelle obviously wants to knock off Kangaroo Flat at some point," Cowling said.
"We know it will be tough, they have some amazing recruits this year, depending on who they have available.
"Now they have Ash Gilmore in the side, that gives us something else to look at; she's an extremely strong goaler.
"They are a top-five team and their goal is to knock off a top-three side. We are going to be aware of that. I don't want it to be us.
"We seem to match up pretty well and have managed to beat them each time since Jannelle left, but in saying that, they have some new recruits and we haven't come up against this particular line-up.
"Chloe Gray is having a great year in the midcourt, so it will be great seeing how she matches up against Chelsea (Sartori)."
The Roos have supremely in-form players in all areas of the court, with the tight-knit and talented defence of Milly Wicks, Carly Van Den Heuvel and Ingrid Hopkins earning plenty of plaudits in last week's win over the Storm.
The goaling combination of Lou Dupuy and Abbey Ryan, with support from Julia Clarke, is firing on all cylinders and will be a tough proposition for South's Steph Goode and Amy Morrissey, who will again be without the support of Alicia McGlashan.
Bloods coach Hobbs could not have been much happier with her team's effort in a 59-43 win against Maryborough last week and will be hoping it's the catalyst for a bigger performance this week.
A run of six-straight losses to the Roos in her time at South Bendigo has not escaped her attention.
"Don't remind me. I would absolutely love to get a win up there (at Flat), but of course it's not all about that, we just need to have a win for the team and our season," Hobbs said.
"We're quietly confident. Obviously they are a slick unit, but hopefully we can come out and play our best. There's no reason why we can't.
"They've been really good for a couple of years now and were realy unlucky last year. They had a great start to the year and they have obviously built on that again with Lou Dupuy in there.
"We're looking forward to the challenge and I'm confident we can match it with them."
For the Bloods, Gray and Keiarah Brooks are enjoying fantastic seasons in the midcourt.
A second top-five clash will pit Sandhurst against Castlemaine at the QEO.
The Dragons continued their unbeaten season last weekend with a 53-17 victory at Kyneton and will be favoured to head to the halfway point of the home and away season at 9-0.
The competition benchmark has players in brilliant form right across the court and is on track to defend its premiership crown, last won in 2019.
Castlemaine's return to A-grade netball continues to be a resounding success, with the Magpies winning five of eight games.
No team has likely endured as many changes in personnel from week to week as the Magpies, who will be hoping to field a more settled line-up in the second half of the year.
In other games, seventh meets sixth when Maryborough hosts Kyneton at Princes Park.
Ultra-competitive against Castlemaine last week, Eaglehawk hosts third-placed Gisborne at Canterbury Park.
At Wade Street, Golden Square will be looking for its first win against a Strathfieldsaye team aiming for its third.
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